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The Daily Rundown

News/Business. NBC's Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd discusses the day's top political stories. New.

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Hagel 16, Michigan 9, Elizabeth Warren 8, Chuck Hagel 7, John Mccain 7, Chuck 6, Flint 5, Us 5, America 5, Dan Kildee 4, Msnbc 4, Washington 4, U.s. 3, Saginaw 3, Schwab 3, Vidal Sassoon 3, Frank Lautenberg 3, Lautenberg 3, Dennis 3, Mitch Mcconnell 3,
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  MSNBC    The Daily Rundown    News/Business. NBC's Chief White House correspondent  
   Chuck Todd discusses the day's top political stories. New.  

    February 15, 2013
    6:00 - 7:00am PST  

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and because usaa's commitment to serve the military, veterans, and their families is without equal. begin your legacy. get an auto-insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve. it's time now to talk about what we learned today.
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ed, what did you learn today? >> mika, i always liked scott brown. i did. i thought he was a decent public servant. but boy, i learned today that we did something very special with warren. she's going to be very special in the congress. >> i think she's a force to be reckoned with. and boy, just everybody wait, seriously. i don't disagree. >> joe? >> well, i learned that we're returning to the era of cool inc., that it's trending in the republican party, cal coolidge. >> very cool. >> excited. >> all right. well, i'm looking at the latest issue of "cosmo" and i can't tell you what i learned today. i really can't. wow! okay. if it's way too early, it's time for "morning joe," but now it's time for "the daily rundown." have a wonderful weekend, everyone. block and tackle. chuck hagel's prospects for running the pentagon are going to hang in limbo for another two weeks as senate republicans get exactly what they want, more
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time. folks, delay is rarely a good thing when it comes to these fights. also this morning, a deep dive into iran's upcoming election as ahmadinejad heads out of office, the world wants to see which way his successor will take the combative country. and a monumental moment lambs on capitol hill, with the retirement of new jersey senator frank lautenberg, there will be no more world war ii veterans in the u.s. senate. what's that mean for our politics and our national perspective? good morning from washington. it's friday, february 15th, it's t"the daily rundown." i'm chuck todd. president obama is standing by his embattled nominee for secretary of defense, chuck hagel, as hagel's former senate republican colleagues put up a major roadblock yesterday in their attempts to not just delay the nomination, but try to kill it. >> the yeas are 58, the nays are 40. one senator announced present.
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>> and with that senate vote, chuck hagel came up short of a 60-vote filibuster roadblock that senate republicans demanded, delaying what could still be hagel's eventual confirmation vote by at least two weeks. four republicans, mississippi's thad cochran, susan collins, mike johannes, and lisa murkowski voted. president obama was emphatic during a google plus question and answer session. >> my expectation and hope is that chuck hagel, who richly deserves to get a vote on the floor of the senate, will be confirmed as our defense secretary. it's just unfortunate that this kind of politics intrudes at a time when i'm still presiding over a war in afghanistan. >> interestingly, some republicans acknowledge yesterday that it's just a
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matter of time until hagel is confirmed. >> we can get this issue resolved on the day that we return from the recess. certainly, there is, i believe, sufficient votes to invoke cloture at that time. >> when we get back, unless there's a real bombshell, i vote for cloture and move on to his nomination. >> there were a few reasons for the unpress didncedented filibu vote on a nominee. there were some senators who were always opposed to hagel and they wanted to send a message about how unacceptable he was. others were mad at senate majority leader harry reid for not respecting the hold process. a gop senator putting a hold and giving it a couple of days, and instead ramming a vote through. some were mad at the white house over benghazi. democrats yesterday did their own psychoanalysis about what was going on. >> the republican minority in the senate seemed to think that the rule now is that you have to have 60 votes for everything.
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well, that's not the rule. >> i guess to be able to run for the senate as a republican in most places of the country, you need to have a resume that says, i helped filibuster one of the president's nominees. maybe that helps. maybe that keeps the tea party guy from running against you. >> here's the bottom line, and the message was delivered by mr. straight talk, john mccain, yesterday. ultimately, hagel's issues with his former gop colleagues are simply personal. >> there's a lot of ill will towards senator hagel, because when he was a republican, he attacked president bush, mercilessly, at one point said he was the worst president since herbert hoover. said that the surge was the worst blunder since the vietnam war, which is nonsense. and was very anti-his own party and people. people don't forget that. >> there you go. a delay is never a good thing, because it does give hagel's
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opponents additional time to try to torpedo his nomination. the fact that hagel essentially got 59 votes, including four from republicans, suggest that he's likely to be confirmed when this vote comes up again on february 26th. the fact is hagel's going to be a weakened secretary of defense in all of this. is that damage temporary or permanent? yesterday also highlighted a growing problem with the gop, that they are dealing, and one many republicans outside of d.c. fret about. it's clear what the gop is against, but the question remains, what are they for? by the way, the hagel fight, that's also demonstrated the degree to which some republicans will not give up the benghazi fight. the white house provided more information about benghazi in a letter to senators, mccain, graham, and ayotte on thursday, but the questions are not likely to end here. >> one of the pieces of this puzzle that we haven't gotten, of course, is the talking points. that will be a subject that will
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be -- must be addressed for mr. brennan's confirmation. >> so we move from hagel to brennan now with the benghazi issue. in his google chat, the president was asked about transparency and unsolicited, brought benghazi up. >> there are a handful of issues, mostly around national security, where people have legitimate questions. benghazi, by the way, is not a good example of that. that was largely driven by campaign stuff, because everything about that, we've had more testimony and more paper provided to congress than ever before, and congress is sort of running out of things to ask. >> senate democrats rolled out a plan yesterday, in a more important piece of news that was going on, to be honest, to replace the cuts in the sequester, which will go into effect march 1st, if nothing is agreed to. and to temporarily halt the sequester, they're calling for permanent tax increases. the $100 billion plan, the $120 billion, if you count saved interest payments, would replace
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across-the-board spending cuts passed during the 2011 debt limit showdown, then the cuts would kick in again for the rest of the decade. the bill is equally divided between revenue and spending cuts, a one-to-one ratio. remember, the president has not put a ratio on the record of what he wants on this. he wants some tax increases, but doesn't say how much. senate democrats establish a 30% tax rate on incomes over $1 million. additional tax increase proposals include getting rid of some of the loopholes that have to do for that oil and gas companies get. an end to the business deduction for the cost of moving equipment overseas. then the remaining $55 billion comes from spending cuts, evenly divided between cuts in defense from 2015 and cuts in farm subsidies. no other domestic programs are cut. house democrats rolled out essentially the same bill yesterday. clearly, this is a negotiating tactic. there's no way republicans are going to support a permanent tax increase to temporarily halt the
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sequester. the buffet rule is as much about messaging as it is about legislating. in a statement, though, white house press secretary jay carney dared republicans to aggressively oppose the senate plan. "republicans in congress face a simple choice. do they protect investments in education, health care, and national defense or do they continue to prioritize and protect tax loopholes that benefit the very few at the expense of middle and working class families?" but the white house is clearly nervous about sequestration. and yesterday on capitol hill, it was a full-court press, a parade of cabinet secretaries warned about the dire effects of letting the cuts go into effect. >> the cuts required by sequestration harm middle class families, seniors, and the most vulnerable. >> sequestration would force us to cut crucial services, doing real damage to the life chances of millions of students. >> sequestration seriously threatens our hurricane sandy recovery efforts. taking away crucial funding for repair and recovery from housing, transportation, and other areas. >> and our busiest airports,
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like newark and jfk, l.a.x. and chicago o'hare, peak wait times, which can already reach over two hours, could grow to four hours or more. >> the army reports that two-thirds of its brigade combat teams will be at reduced readiness by year's end. >> by the way, yesterday, as the president was pitching his idea of federal funds for universal pre-k and an expansion of head start in atlanta, his secretary of education, arne duncan, was forced to testify about how head start will be cut, if sequestration, something the president signed into law, goes into effect. >> and head start, some 70,000 students could be kicked out. doing that to our most vulnerable children is educational malpractice, economically foolish, and morally indefensible. >> as for the president's road show, after following the first days following his state of the union, pitching more popular
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ideas, president obama will take up the more deeply divisive issue of gun control. he'll do it in his hometown of chicago. a city that saw more than 500 murders last year. on thursday, he tried to ease the fears of gun owners, telling that google audience that he's focused mainly on what he described as weapons of war. >> people are going to be able to buy all kinds of guns and use them legally for protection, for sport, for hunting. what we're saying is, there may be a small category of weapons that we think really can drastically increase the incidence of gun violence. >> the head of the national rifle association, wayne lapierre, isn't buying it. he says the president's gun control effort is a charade, a political effort disguised as a public safety issue. >> they only care about their decades long, decades old gun
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control agenda. ban every gun they can, tax every gun sold, and register every american gun owner. >> david gregory is moderator of nbc's "meet the press." david, you're going to have a big, actually, subsection of guns in america on "meet the press" today. the president going to chicago. he supposedly going to talk about some economic stuff, but he had to deal with this gun issue, especially in his hometown. >> but that's a question of how guns get trafficked, how they get into the city, as well as which guns. the reality is, what does the president say? you pointed this out on state of the union. the white house is not confident they get a ban on assault weapons or magazines, as you well know. background checks looks better. look, wayne lapierre is getting ready for 2014 and the midterm elections and making this much more about government overreach than solving real problems. he says, where were they talking about school safety. why aren't we talking about hardening the targets. the president has been very skeptical about that and didn't
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say anything about it in his state of the union. >> you've got a packed "meet the press." you've got john mccain, denis mcdonough, the new white house chief of staff, and i want to start with sort of some obvious questions that mcdonough's going to face. chuck hagel watching this. the president is not going to get forced to pull back on this. >> he got re-elected and he wants his guy. the guy he wants is someone he's sympa sympatico with. he'll have to deal with these republicans who have this personal vendetta against him. he does carry this baggage. and i think these performance issues have not helped. his performance in his confirmation hearing did not make people inside the white house more confident about him. but, again, second term presidents, their level of confidence, who they want for the reasons they want them carry the day. >> john mccain, we saw all sides of him this week.
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there was the john mccain who told ted cruz, hey, you've gone too far. then there was the john mccain who went and decided to filibuster his former friend. and then there was the john mccain who was basically totally honest about why he's really -- he didn't say why he was opposing him, but explained why so many republican senators -- >> and it undercuts the benghazi arguments. if you're jamming hagel up, what are did the president know, who did he call on the night of the attack, you know, who changed the talking points, if that's the real reason, then that's the reason. no, he's saying, really, it's just more personal. you know, look, they're using moments of leverage that they have. they're signaling that this is going to be a fight with him, even when he he's the secretary of defense. >> it's mcdonough, mccain -- >> and mark kelly to talk about his own reaction. a very emotional part of the state of the union. we'll get his reaction and talk about how gabby giffords becomes the face moving forward. >> all right. david gregory, we will be there and watch it. thank you, sir. that's right, this sunday on
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"meet the press," exclusive interview with captain mark kelly, denis mcdonough, the new white house chief of staff, and john mccain. all right, on the road, president obama touting manufacturing's comeback. but are the rust belt residents feeling the resurgence? our meet the new members series continues with a michigan democrat with congress in his blood, congressman dan killdy joins us next. and president obama puts his two cents on future of the penny. but first, a look ahead at today's politics planner. you know that the president's headed out there. there's a house committee on drones today. don't miss that one. and the president has some medals he'll be awarding. and of course, there's senator lautenberg's retirement. you're watching "the daily rundown," only on msnbc. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 seems like etfs are everywhere these days. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 but there is one source with a wealth of etf knowledge
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so, how is the president's ambitious domestic agenda playing with new members from the house, from his own party? it's the latest installment of our series, meeting the newest members of congress. after 36 years in the house, michigan congressman dan kildee was replaced in january by a familiar name and face. dan kildee grew up in flint, michigan, won his first election at 18, and served as a county treasurer and late served as president of an advocacy group for land use in urban areas. flint is a community that's been battered by the economic downturn and the numbers are still grim. flint has a 9.1% unemployment rate. 38% of people in flint live below the poverty line. and the median household income is just over $26,000 a year.
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in the last decade, more than half of the manufacturing jobs in flint have disappeared. michigan congressman dan kildee joins me now. congressman, welcome to washington. >> thanks, chuck. >> and thanks for being on here. so why -- this rise in manufacturing, the president campaigned on it, he's talked about it, the numbers add up. there is an increase in manufacturing around the country. but the state that's home to -- where it all started, particularly flint, michigan, the heart, why isn't it coming back there? >> one of the things we have to do is rebuild the infrastructure that supports manufacturing. michigan and places like flint and saginaw and bay city are part of the old industrial strength that we had. we have not reinvested in those places. and manufacturing in the 21st century requires a different set of capacities. we haven't invested in the skills of our workers the way we should and we haven't rebuilt infrastructure the way we ought to. so while the president talks about manufacturing, we also have to deal with those fundamentals in order to put places like flint, saginaw, bay
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city, back on though that trajectory. >> so how can you turn the corner in flint in the next five years? we can see that -- or we are whole generation. is it going to take that long for a flint to sort of come back? >> it won't take that long to make progress, but it will take us a while to get us back in a position where we can lead again. it's lost half of its population. the landscape has been decimated.abandoned homes, abandoned factories. it's not attractive to new investment. so part of the fundamentals is to clean up the blight and abandonment that has been left behind as we have gone from the old economy -- >> let me, that's what detroit has been doing and getting a lot of coverage, but it seems like you have been trying to do the same thing in flint. this idea of essentially shrinking the geographic size of the city, is that -- >> to make it functional. with half of the population we had, we needed to, i think, sort of reset the city. so that we can have sustainable neighborhoods, where people feel like they live in an intentional place, instead of in a place that's a reminder of what it
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used to be. a reminder that it's no longer the city that it once was. so one of the things to do, and this is one of the things i'm pushing for, is to get more support from the state and federal government. in this case, the federal government, to remove that blight and abandonment, so that we can have a fresh start and attract business, attract new investment, rebuild infrastructure around a population that's more realistic for this period. >> so, is it simply bulldozing and creating greens? what are the ways you can get rid of this plight? >> reducing the supply of abandoned housing and cleaning up empty factory sites a big one. >> right. when you go through flint, you see these giant, giant, essentially, abandoned factories. >> right. >> and there's always been this hope, well, keep the infrastructure, because maybe somebody will move in, right? >> well, and i think the infrastructure is a big advantage that we have. obviously, we have this tremendous investment in public
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infrastructure that needs some help, needs to be reinvested in, rebuilt. but the real point, i guess, is to not be stuck in the past, think about what we have as an asset, the way to begin to use the land that we have and the infrastructure we have as an asset is to clear out the abandonment and start fresh. start with a population that more closely matches the housing that we have. get rid of substandard housing, improve the quality, while simultaneously decreasing the quantity, which is the oversupply of housing, industrial buildings, retail space, things of that nature. >> i want to move to guns. when i think of michigan democrats, it's always been a push/pull on the issue of guns, partially because the dean of the delegation, john dingell, has always been such an outspoken pro-gun member of congress. where are you on the various gun proposals? do you support the assault weapons ban, the background check, the clip -- or are there ones that you want to see redone? >> what i would like to see is a comprehensive approach. we ought to do the things that
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we can agree on. high-capacity assault magazines, there's no question that we ought to do something about that. universal background checks, i think the majority of the congress, i hope, certainly, the majority of the american people, are on board. and then dealing with the other -- closing gun sale loopholes, enforcing the laws that we have on the books and supporting local communities, trying to do that. look, the gun violence in flint, michigan, in saginaw, it's handguns and it's youth that don't have a pathway to any kind of positive outcome for themselves. so, what i hope we do is not decide that one of these elements that can't -- that we can't agree on is an excuse to not do anything. none of them by themselves, whether it's the assault weapon ban or magazine clips or, you know, working on mental health, none of them by themselves are going to solve this problem, but all of them can contribute to it. >> dan kildee, flint, michigan. you gave me a fun little trivia question that i'm not going to share with viewers, because we're going to ask it next week,
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but thanks for coming on and dpl good luck in washington. >> appreciate it. >> thanks. up next, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. are mitch mcconnell and rand paul joining forces to legalize pot? we'll explain, after the break. and next, danger in the skies. a scary sight on the same day an asteroid is set to pass us by. where's bruce willis. but first, a trivia question. who was the first woman to hold different cabinet jobs for two different presidents? the person to tweet the correct answer to both my twitter account @chucktoday a and @dailyrundown will get an on-air shout-out. the answer and more coming up on "the daily rundown." we'll be right back. humans. even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement
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puts a stamp of approval on farming an illegal drug. but first, new jersey senator frank lautenberg says he will not seek re-election next year, avoiding a potential primary battle with newark mayor cory booker, but perhaps opening up the field for more democrats to get in the race. at 89 years old, lautenberg is the oldest member and the last world war ii veteran to serve in the chamber. he makes that announcement official later today. mitch mcconnell joined forces with oregon senators ron wyden and jeff merkley to co-sponsor a bill that would allow american farmers to grow industrial hemp without worrying that they were going to be punished. hemp is a variety of the plant species that produces marijuana. and while it has a smaller amount of the chemical that produces a high, it's considered an illegal drug by the federal government. hemp's strong fibers, though, can be put to legally in many products, such as soap, cosmetics, and rope, even soap on a rope, which helps politicians make the case that growing hemp could help the economy and create jobs.
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you know, pot's always been an unusual issue in the state of kentucky. they've had third party candidates run on the issue of legalizing. breaking from his usual brace of all things lincoln, president obama said yesterday that it might be time to cut penny production. during his google chat, one person asked the president why the u.s. still mints pennies when so many economists agree they are economically inefficient. the president said while it wouldn't be a huge savings for the government, it should be changed. >> i will tell you that you're right. this is not going to be a huge savings for government, but anytime we're spending more money on something that people don't actually use, that's an example of something we should probably change. it's very hard to get rid of things that don't work so that we can then invest in the things that do. and the penny ends up being, i think, a good metaphor for some of the larger problems that we've got. >> so much for hope and change. anyway, there is some change he does not believe in.
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finally, russian residents woke up to a huge fireball across the sky this morning, resulting in a powerful blast that injured about 400 people. early russian reports say the fireball was caused by a meteorite. according to the associated press, the interior ministry says the fireball caused an explosion, then a sonic boom that broke windows. many injuries were minor ones, caused by flying glass and there were no fatalities. the meteorite's white trail in the sky could be seen as far as 125 miles away. some scary stuff this morning. and does the bruce willis movie actually come out today? it's all somehow there. "armageddon" will be on all weekend. and up next, the upcoming elections in iran. ahmadinejad is out, but who will take his place and does it mean anything good for the united states? we'll find out. plus, senator elizabeth warren makes a splash during her debut hearing on the hill, taking the big banks to task. you're watching "the daily rundown," only on msnbc. so you say men are superior drivers?
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today, a deep dive into the growing political crisis in iran, one that pits the two most powerful men in that country against each other, and will determine iran's direction for years to come. on the surface, it's good news for america and its allies that preside president mahmoud ahmadinejad is on his way out. he's term limited. but in the last few months, he's waged war on his own political enemies inside the iranian parliament, forcing some from power and targeting others, like the parliament speaker, who accused ahmadinejad of mafia-style smear tactics. opponents say the iranian president is trying to impose a hand-picked successor once he steps down. ahmadinejad's strong arm tactics are nothing new. in 2009, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets amid widespread allegations that ahmadinejad had rigged the presidential election in his favor.
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the so-called green movement was unlike anything iran had seen in decades. a popular uprising in the face of political suppression. >> the united states and the international community have been appalled and outraged by the threats, the beatings, and imprisonments of the last few days. if the iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect those rights and heed the will of its own people. it must govern through consent and not coercion. >> despite those strong statements, the u.s. remained mostly neutral and as quickly as it began, the movement was snuffed out through a series of brutal government crackdowns. at least three dozen people were killed, thousands arrested. honestly, we probably don't know how many people were killed. leaders like former prime minister mousavi are still under house arrest years later. today, the democracy movement has essentially been sidelined. instead, ahmadinejad is facing a different kind of political opposition. it's coming from the one man who has more power than he does. it's iran's 73-year-old supreme
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leader, ayatollah ali kmcomaney. determined not to consolidate his hold on power, kmany is expected to do all he can this time, including blacklisting candidates and engineering the election himself in order to install a candidate that is loyal to him. joining me now from london is nbc's tehran bureau chief, ali arouzi. ali, thanks for doing this for us. so set the stage a little bit here. we have these two forces, but if the ayatollah is trying to essentially engineer this election, is it already a foregone conclusion who's going to win? >> good morning, chuck. well, it's not a foregone conclusion. there's no doubt that the supreme leader, ayatollah kmany wants a safe pair of hands. it's been a bumpy ride and it hasn't panned out the way he
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wants it. he usually gets his way, but things are bit different these days. ahmadinejad has been sidelined, slightly, but he's not a man to back down without a fight. he's been consistently controversial over the years, and he's come out swinging. he's thereunder to expose senior members of the regime due to mass corruption. he said that the forces within their regime want to engineer the next elections, ironic coming from him. and he won't back down from his choice of president. his chief of staff, who's also father-in-law to ahmadinejad's son, and a very controversial figure in iran which the supreme leader doesn't like. he's not going to stop backing down from this guy and he's made that very clear. he's talked about a viva spring campaign for his man to become president. now, there's a lot of factors at play here, and i think what's going to be a big test of his legacy is going to be over the next few months, whether he really does dish the dirt on these people, if he's allowed to blackmail certain members of the
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regime, to get his way and get his man elected as president. chuck? >> now, is there any of this that -- is there -- in either direction, if whoever gets it somehow cool the issue of iran's nuclear ambition and sort of slow down what seems like a very slow march to an eventually military showdown, either between israel and iran, or the united states and iran. >> it's a very tough question, chuck. i mean, we have to see who they put forward. four, eight years ago when ahmadinejad was put forward, he was obviously a very hardliner that wasn't going to do business on the surface with america. and if there's another person like that, i think it's going to be more of the same. and it looks like most of the people around him, around the supreme leader, wants to pick a fairly hard line. they're somewhat pragmatic, but they're fairly hardline and they don't want to give up their biggest bargaining chip, their nuclear program to americans. they feel that that would leave them essentially with nothing.
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so it's going to be a very, very delicate course to run over the next couple of months, when ahmadinejad loses power and then the next president comes in. whether it's his man or not. chuck? >> now, all politics are local, so let me ask you this. the economy and the problems with the economy were, i think, some of the inspiration to the green movement the last time. what -- how is the situation with the iranian economy right now and could that spark any sort of rise among the people? >> the economic situation is dire right now. it's been worse than it was during the iran/iraq war, which is really saying something. usually, this sort of stuff is enough to provoke public disobedience, but people are so bogged down with their everyday problems, worrying how to make ends meet, how to put money on the table, they're worried that if they spill out into the streets, if they cause public disobedience, they may be
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arrested, they may go away for a day, a week, a month, and then they won't be able to feed their family, they won't be able to make any money, so people are very weary of going out and causing problems on the street, despite how bad the economic situation is. >> and is that at all going to motivate the supreme leader to have negotiations, to maybe back off? >> it's difficult to say. i mean, right now you could say it suits him. people are not being vocal. people are not going to come out, spilling on to the streets. so things are not bad for him right now. he's containing the masses. and that's what they've always ultimately wanted. so, the status quo has worked for now, but there's a lot more to play for here. i mean, if there was a strike by israel at any time, that could turn the tablesdrastically. chuck? >> ali arouzi, our tehran bureau chief covering this election today. we'll be hearing from you a lot between now and june. thank you, sir.
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>> thanks. up next, capitol consequences. what hagel's holdup and lautenberg leaving may actually mean for the future. our friday gaggle will be here. first, a little white house soup of the day. a good fall soup, in february, butternut squash. don't forget to check out our website, rundown.msnbc.com. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] how do you make america's favorite recipes? just begin with america's favorite soups. bring out chicken broccoli alfredo. or best-ever meatloaf. go to campbellskitchen.com for recipes, plus a valuable coupon. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. because every flake is double-toasted... splashed with sweet honey... and covered in rich double-roasted peanuts. mmm. [ hero ] yummy. [ male announcer ] kellogg's crunchy nut. it's super delicious! that's a good thing, but it doesn't cover everything.
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here. since we're often all on the move, ashley suggested we use fedex office to hold packages for us. great job. [ applause ] thank you. and on a protocol note, i'd like to talk to tim hill about his tendency to use all caps in emails. [ shouting ] oh i'm sorry guys. ah sometimes the caps lock gets stuck on my keyboard. hey do you wanna get a drink later? [ male announcer ] hold packages at any fedex office location. chuck hagel's nomination as defense secretary is stalled in the senate. thursday, when democrats came up one vote short of the 60 they needed to end the debate. is this a sign of how much times have changed in the upper chamber? joining me now, msnbc political analyst and former chairman of the republican national committee, michael steele. editorial writer for "the washington post," ruth marcus, and the person that is in charge of covering these cats and dogs up there, nbc's capitol hill
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correspondent, kelly o'donnell. >> i think we're going to get e-mails from cat and dog lovers. >> i know, like, don't compare us to the u.s. congress. there was a little bit of everything on display in the chuck hagel debate yesterday. he department get that 60th vote, why? what do you think it was? what is ultimately the one reason? is it benghazi, is it his performance? is it real questions about hagel or is it personal? >> on some level, it's personal. but there are enough legitimate reasons that can sort of mask the personal dislike. there are many senators who are very upset about how he performed, not just in the show of what a hearing is, but what it might say about his leadership at defense. the benghazi piece is very important to a smaller group of senators. they were able to extract from the white house a letter, giving them a bit more information. and then there's the group that really kind of hopes that a period of time might unveil some other bit about hagel that could ultimately knock his confirmation off track.
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so it was a number of things. and what you were able to get some senators to say they'll never filibuster to do is say, this is just about a little more time. it's not about trying to torpedo him. it's just give us some more time. >> you know, one thing that has come out of this, and ruth, you wrote about this person today, was, it was interesting and one of the side bar storyies of the hagel nomination is going to be ted cruz's introduction as the new senator from texas, if you will, to a lot of capitol hill. a lot of people in politics have been following him, but sort of the capitol hill folks getting to know ted cruz. he is sort of a bull in a china shop here. >> i wrote, if i may quote myself, that he was not going to win senator congeniality, any awards, including from his republican colleagues, but i don't think he cares. he has the traditional way to come into the senate is a little low-key, keep your head down.
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this is not the cruz way. he is not on cruise control. >> you covered the senate a long time before you started writing a column. the same stuff being written about ted cruz, wasn't it written about rick santorum in the 1995? >> yeah, that's a good analogy. >> and look where it got him. >> it depends on what your goal is. if your goal is to get something done in the senate, it may not be the best way to achieve that goal. if your goal is to push your agenda and perhaps coincidentally or not, push yourself, it might be pretty effective. >> what do you make of cruz? what's interesting to me is all the senators that are, on one hand, they whisper that they don't like how aggressive this guy is being, including republicans. but, boy, they all want to say, go, ted cruz. marco rubio tweeted, there's always a sense that there's supposedly not so the great blood between the two. he tweets this morning, happy to see ted cruz came to d.c. to make a difference, not just make some friends. he's doing very well. >> yeah, okay. >> yeah, you don't believe that,
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huh? >> look, the reality of it is, cruz has come in and he's defining his own terms. he's his own man, to your point. and i thought your piece was spot-on. it's what's not being said publicly, as you just noted. these guys in the senate, they're very a cloistered community. and they like the quiet, they like the downplay. you've got someone who is the bull in the china shop, coming in the door, mixing things up, because his agenda is not about the senate's agenda, it's about a different agenda, which may be something down the road for him. >> speaking of people who are trying to make their own way, elizabeth warren, i want to play a clip of elizabeth warren yesterday, who on one hand has kept a low media profile, unlike ted cruz, but wound could argue, trying to do the same thing that ted cruz is doing, shake things up a bit. here's elizabeth warren yesterday at a hearing. >> tell me a little bit about the last few times that you've taken the biggest financial institutions on wall street all the way to a trial?
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anybody? i'm really concerned that too big to fail has become too big for trial. that just seems wrong to me. >> kelly, she knew very well what the answer was. she figured that out and she was trying to make a point, make a statement. that's another way of trying to come into the senate, and that also, you know, because of her popularity with some groups, you hear whispers from other democratic senators, she's getting too much of the spotlight. >> well, seniority is respected in the senate, and people want new senators to kind of fall in line and let the major voices who have been on the national stage the longest have the biggest splash. so when you have these new senators coming in and getting attention, it does ruffle feathers. now, elizabeth warren did it in way that was pointed and yet muted at the same time, and right in her wheelhouse. this is what her expertise is. when you look at a ted cruz, he was just sort of running over the chairman of the committee. and i had not seen that kind of a direct kind of rebuke from other senates to another member on the committee.
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that's really unusual. his people say, he wasn't being personal, yet it was certainly perceived that way. >> but two different ways. elizabeth warren still trying to do the same thing that ted cruz is doing, but choosing a different platform. >> there was actually a fascinating story in politico yesterday about her decided decision to keep her head down, literally, to keep walking when reporters tried to interview her in the hallways of the capitol. but, you know, when it's in your wheelhouse, and i thought some of her questions might have been a little bit unfair, because there are other ways to sanction banks besides going to trial. going to trial is risky. but the best way, with i think, to make an impact as a new senator is to do a good job of questioning. >> you know, it is interesting, though, what's interesting, bot elizabeth warren and ted cruz did get the memo on how to be a grand stander. how to ask questions that you don't care about the answers. >> i tell you, watch elizabeth warren. i think she is going to be in many respects the marco rubio for the democrats.
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>> i completely agree. if hillary doesn't run, warren and rubio. trivia time. who is the first woman to hold different cabinet jobs for two president? elizabeth dole. bradley america is today's winner. don't forget, you have to tweet both twitter handles to win. we're not going to let you win more than once a week. e-mail us at dailyrundown@msnbc.com. we'll be right back. 's ♪ ♪ ♪ [ girl ]rumental ] when i started playing soccer, i wasn't so good.
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. it's an end of an era with senator frank lautenberg in the senate and it leaves just two other world war ii veterans in
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congress. you know, ruth, we bring this up because the death of senator inoye was a reminder of this. you know, the world war ii veterans for a while sort of defined the senate. they were bipartisan. >> that's right. bob dole and dan inoye, they would do these things there and that generation goes. i bring it up because the vietnam guys, all of a sudden they are disappearing. >> right. and the interesting thing is, there is not another generation -- a big enough generation, a sort of critical mass of iraq, afghanistan -- >> we're probably 20 years away from where you would have that. >> they are in the house now. >> i think we're 20 years away. >> i think the point i was trying to inarticulately address was -- >> it's always been interesting
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to me, michael, how the military guys do bond together and in the senate there are fewer and fewer. >> there are fewer and fewer. that has an impact on how decisions are made on defense appropriations and the whole connection to the complex. they don't have that link anymore. >> is there something that bonds these senators? >> in terms of those in the military, i think they have walked the walk, i think they understand it, they connect to service members in their districts or their states. there is that brotherhood. >> but it it is smaller. it's not like mccain or jack read. >> remember, i'm a westpoint guy. >> all right. shameless plugs. kelly, be you're with msnbc. you get to go last. michael? >> 40 members plus. >> shake it too much? >> shakes the cabinet to get something done in washington. >> all right. ruth? >> if you liked allen simpson
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